All right folks. This is it. Week five. The last week, the home stretch. It’s time to sink or swim. Win or lose. Give up or die trying. In exactly one week’s time I will either be hanging my head in shame or you will find me here and elsewhere on the interwebs, screaming out in victory, “I did it!!!!!!!!”
Okay, so I MAY be slightly exaggerating the importance of this one little room makeover. Also, I MAY, on occasion, have a tendency to be a tiny bit over-dramatic. But after deciding to take part in Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge this season, and then proceeding to make almost zero progress (other than installing our new-to-us French door) for the first four updates, you’re going to have to forgive my dramatics, because we may just end up finishing this room on time!
In case you’re new here, my husband and myself are renovating our teeny, tiny back entrance foyer/world’s smallest mudroom/redneck sunroom (whatever you want to call it!) over a period of six weeks. To catch up on our previous posts, complete with the grotesque before pictures and all of the pretty plans we made for the space click here for week 1, here for week 2, here for week 3 and here for week 4.
If you read last week’s post, I’m sure you sensed that I really had my doubts that we would be able to finish in time for the November 10th deadline. Truth be told, I mentioned it in week two, but I started this challenge with a nasty cold and seven weeks and two rounds of antibiotics later, I’m still fighting it. I have named it Cold-Mageddon. On top of that, this week my son also had round three with some sort of flu that is going around. So, due to that as well as a bunch of other things I will just call “life”, I didn’t think we would be able to pull this room makeover off. However, with a little bit of help and a few small bursts of energy, a lot can change in a week. My handy hubby managed to squeeze in some time to get started on the planking. He managed to MacGyver up some scary scaffolding. I’ll show you pictures, as long as you promise that you will do your own research on how to build scaffolding if you are attempting this yourself. I’m fairly certain rigging up two ladders and some old boards that were probably way too small for this job is NOT “up to code”. If Mike Holmes were watching, he would probably be shaking his head right about now.
We ended up using underlayment, because at $18 a sheet, it was the most affordable option. We picked it up at Home Depot and paid a little bit extra to have them cut it down into six inch strips for us. It’s a lot easier to just have it done there in the store. There are a zillion tutorials out there on “how to shiplap your walls”, so I won’t be adding one more to the mix. Basically you just need your brad nailer, something to hold in between the boards as you nail to keep a bit of gap in there (hubby used a scrap piece of planking) and a couple of different saws for making whatever cuts you need to work around outlets, trim, etc. We used our table saw, as well as a utility knife for some of the tricky, small cuts. A jigsaw would also work. Our boards were 8 feet at the longest, so when working with a wall longer than 8 feet, we cut our planks into different lengths and then staggered the boards, so that all our cuts didn’t line up. It’s kind of like laying hardwood floors.
If you really want your planking to line up horizontally all around the room, then make sure you mark where your level line is BEFORE beginning. My husband was a little upset with himself because he didn’t do this, and since our old house has extremely crooked walls, it’s going to end up that our planks will not line up perfectly all around the room. I am actually completely fine with this. I told him from the start that I wanted an imperfect and rustic look. He was seriously considering taking down an entire wall of planks to fix it. (I bugged him about this a lot, because usually he calls me the crazy perfectionist!) I convinced him to leave the planks as is.
Another tip would be to plan ahead where your planks will end up falling on your wall, so that you don’t end up with a skinny one inch section at the very top, or in a very obvious spot like above a doorway or window. If that is going to be the case, then you can change up the plan so that you don’t end up with any obviously skinny cuts. Then again, if skinny little boards next to your six inch boards don’t bother you – don’t worry about it!
We still have a couple of walls and half the ceiling left to plank, which hopefully we finish up tomorrow . I didn’t want to waste today and since my amazing mom offered to help, we got quite a bit of painting done. Let me tell you this, painting ceilings is one of my least favourite DIY jobs, but painting ceilings in a staircase using a long pole is a whole new level of torture. It just confirmed what I already knew, that I am total weakling. I worked in short one minute increments, with five minute breaks in between so as to allow my arms to regain some strength and stop shaking like jello. Pathetic. Anyhow, I didn’t feel too bad once my mom arrived and she also found the job very difficult. We managed to prime the walls that have been planked so far. I’m hoping one good coat of paint on the weekend and our walls will be looking just like an episode of Fixer Upper!
Yes, that’s a hole in the wall. If you didn’t catch my Instagram story earlier this week, basically my husband and I decided to play a game of detective/treasure hunter to figure out what was behind this wall. I was kind of hoping there would be something cool back there, like old newspapers or love letters. I won’t keep you in suspense, we didn’t find anything. Just an empty space. At first I thought it must have been a closet that was originally built off of the dining room, and was covered over when the dining room built-ins were added at a later time, but it doesn’t look like that was the case. Oh, and if you’re wondering why we didn’t just knock down the entire empty box of drywall that is there for no reason, and make our staircase larger, it’s because we didn’t want to make more work for ourselves. True story.
Oh, and in keeping with my “imperfect and rustic” look, I won’t be going back with a paintbrush to paint the gaps in between the boards. I like the way they look unpainted. Also, we have way too much left to do this week!
This is the door after two coats of CIL’s Dark Secret. One more and she is good to go! Oh, and there is paint all over the glass because I never bother taping off glass. It takes me less time to scrape it off afterward with a razor blade than it does to painstakingly tape it off.
It’s exciting to see some actual progress happening in the room! We still have quite a bit more work to do, but I really think we can pull this off.
Here is our To-Do List.
- Plank walls and ceiling (70% complete)
- Replace trim (90% complete)
- Prime and paint walls, ceiling, trim (primer is 70% complete)
- Prep stairs for paint (I tried ripping up the old vinyl “runner” on the stair treads and discovered a crapload of nasty glue underneath. So my plan is to just leave the vinyl in place and paint around it. Eventually we will buy a sisal runner for the stairs and I will deal with ripping up the vinyl then.)
- Prime and paint stairs (risers have one coat complete)
- Rip out old carpet, install new subfloor on the entrance landing (I lamely attempted ripping up the carpet myself, but decided I would leave that job to someone with more muscle!)
- Install new vinyl floor (I’m not sure if this will happen by the deadline, but if not, I will just give the subfloor a quick coat of paint.)
Replace old door with “new” French door
- Paint door (Two coats complete)
- Install new light switches (We already own these, we just need to install them!)
- Install new light fixture (gift from friend!!!)
- Install new hand rail (DIY industrial pipe rail)
- Add finishing details (hooks, chalkboard, gallery wall, DIY word art, baskets, small shelf?, rug?)
So we still only have one item crossed off the list, but a lot of others are close to being crossed off.
I don’t think I shared a picture of the vinyl flooring that we plan to install. We’re going to use the same flooring that we bought for our bathroom makeover that we completed for the One Room Challenge last spring. The flooring didn’t end up arriving in time for the final reveal. Here is our bathroom floor today.
Vinyl has come a long way! It could almost pass for cement tile, right? It’s made my Mannington, and the pattern and colour is Filagree Iron. (By the way, this isn’t a sponsored post. I’m just letting you know, because I love this flooring!)
I also drew up some of my ideas for the wall decor, because with only one week left I obviously have tons of time to spend doodling and planning. Right.
(The odd rectangle that is scribbled out in the bottom sketch is the big old empty box of nothing we discovered this week.)
Yes, those are tabs on my notebook. How else would I stay organized? I love making lists and plans and jotting down ideas. I know this bullet journaling craze is super popular right now, but I have to say, I’m super fond of my dollar store sticky tab dividers. #geekforlife
Do you see our super awesome hand rail? Since I’m not sure you can tell from my drawing, that’s going to be made out of industrial pipe. I’m really excited about it. As much as any sane person could be excited about plumbing parts. I can’t wait!
Originally I was planning on doing a black and white gallery wall around the entire staircase. It was going to be epic. Massive. Striking. I was planning on using printed black and white photos from some of our past vacations. Then I remembered that I am on a tight budget and I don’t have enough frames to do that large of a gallery wall and frames can be fairly expensive. Especially large ones, which I wanted. Also, printing photos isn’t cheap either. Especially large ones! So, onto Plan B. I’m still going to do a gallery wall, but it won’t be quite as large as I originally planned. Honestly, the shiplap is so beautiful, I don’t want to cover it all up! To save money, I’m going to use only frames I already own, along with my trusty can of black spray paint. Some frames will be empty and I will also mix in some mirrors and whatever else I can scrounge up from around my house. On the wall you face when going down the staircase, I plan on making up a DIY banner using things I already own – some wood pieces, twine, a dropcloth and a sharpie pen. I’m not entirely sure about the other walls, but lots of ideas are rolling around in my head, so you’ll have to come back next week to see how it all turns out!
Oh, and you also might see my note on there about perhaps adding numbers to the stair risers. Wouldn’t that be cute? It would just be temporary until we install our sisal runner, but in the meantime it would add a fun touch. I will have to see if I have enough time and energy once everything else on the list is crossed off!
My husband and I have been so preoccupied with everything going on lately, we basically forgot until a couple of days ago that it’s our anniversary this weekend. Eleven years with this dude! What better way to celebrate than spending some quality time together working on the One Room Challenge? Right? (Don’t worry, we will do something to celebrate a little bit later in the month.)
Thanks so much for popping by, I appreciate you following along on our little DIY journey! Feel free to leave a comment below or find me on Instagram or Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to hop over to Calling It Home to see all of the other amazing room makeovers that are in progress. I can hardly wait until next week, there are going to be so many beautiful room transformations!
I hope to see you all here next week for the big room reveal!